Police Say Woman, 30, Confesses To Being Involved In The 2011 Murder, Robbery Of Zachary Higdon

Sunday, March 30, 2014
Jessica Tene Sterchi
Jessica Tene Sterchi

Police say a 30-year-old woman has confessed to being involved in the Oct. 4, 2011, murder and robbery of Zachary Higdon at his trailer at 900 Airport Road.

Jessica Tene Sterchi is charged with first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery and tampering with or fabricating evidence.

The body of the victim was found by relatives at his unit at the Whispering Pines Trailer Park.

Police said numerous items of value had been removed from the trailer.

Investigator Zach Fuller said on Wednesday he interviewed a witness who said he had information on the Higdon murder. He said Ms. Sterchi told him "she was responsible for the murder of Zachary Higdon."

The witness said Ms. Sterchi explained in detail how the murder and the robbery were carried out. She stated they were going to rob Higdon and she was the one who shot and killed him. He said she told where the murder weapon could be located along with certain items taken from the trailer.

Investigator Fuller said on Saturday Ms. Sterchi agreed to speak with him. She said she was present when Higdon was killed. She said she was with her boyfriend and his brother when they decided to go get some cocaine from Higdon.

She said she entered the trailer first and purchased cocaine from Higdon. She said the two men then entered. She said when they tried to rob Higdon he fought back and was shot and killed.

She said they left, but returned twice to retrieve valuables from the trailer and to clean up the murder scene.

Investigator Fuller said the items Ms. Sterchi described matched those taken from the residence.

She said the gun had been thrown in the river.

Ms. Sterchi admitted pawning items taken from Higdon.




Man Who Was Shot At Intown Suites On Lee Highway Has Drug Charges Bound To Grand Jury

A man who was seriously injured in a shooting at the Intown Suites on Lee Highway in early January had drug charges bound to the Grand Jury against him on Wednesday. Joshua Eaker, 28, appeared before General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes. A drug investigator said Eaker was found unconscious inside his vehicle at the Mapco located down Lee Highway from the motel. He ... (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news.  Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us ... (click for more)

Vote No On The Rezoning For A New Landfill In Harrison - And Response (3)

County Commissioners, please consider the following facts when voting on the rezoning request for a new privately-owned C&D landfill in Harrison.  Use of this property for a landfill has been rejected by the county three times in the past (1971, 1984 and 2007).  In 1971 and 2007 the County Commissioners unanimously rejected the proposal.  In 1984 the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank. “I asked ... (click for more)

Lady Canes Knocked To State Volleyball Loser's Bracket By Portland

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – East Hamilton, a relative green horn when it comes to volleyball’s biggest stage, saved its best effort of the season for Tuesday’s opening match of the 2017 state tournament against Sullivan South. Facing a five-time and defending champion from Kingsport, Tennessee, East Hamilton notched an impressive 3-0 sweep by scores of 25-22, 25-14 and 25-17. ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Father Ryan Again To Advance At State

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The third time was not the charm for Father Ryan here at MTSU’s Murphy Center Tuesday afternoon. Facing the Baylor Lady Red Raiders in the opening round of the TSSAA D-II Class AA state volleyball tournament, the defending state runner-up Baylor squad defeated their Nashville rivals in three straight sets, winning by scores of 25-19, 25-12 and 25-23. ... (click for more)